Someone in the bookstore owners group recommended a title for book retailers wanting to operate pop up stores and I had to check it out. I found a couple more titles along the way which pertain to pricing and the economics of owning a bookstore. The book industry has been a trade of narrow margins. I want to read up and lean on the experience of others to reduce the number of mistakes I need to make on my own.
If anyone out there has ever mustered their resources and opened a retail shop successfully, be sure to toss out some tips in the comments.
In the world of book selling, as in a lot of the retail world, I suppose…people tend to wander in to book shops, browse through books to find what they like, and then take out their phone right there on the spot and order it cheaper from Amazon. Many modern bookstores stay afloat by offering food and coffee at a decent markup to help stay afloat. Books alone don’t always cut it in a world with Amazon.
Its a mixed bag online, though. There are authors selling their own titles on Amazon and then there are pirates selling bootleg copies of popular titles at a cost less than they could purchase it from the publisher, and at reduced quality as well. The press reported Amazon was under investigation for allowing so many of its sellers to market bootleg books.
I realize its hard for a company the size of Amazon to regulate what their sellers do, but its also hard on the writers and publishers and distributors and retailers already trying to make a living by selling the legitimate books. If you ever bought a new book online for a great deal and received it in the mail and noticed the print seemed slightly blurry, or the glue in the binding began to come loose after a while, or there were more than a sparse handful of typos and grammatical and spelling errors, you may have a bootleg book. Sometimes the paper quality is thinner or not as bright as what you remember from the copy you held in the store. Sometimes it may have a peculiar chemical smell when you flip through the pages, or the ink may actually rub off onto your hands as you read. These are some signs of a fly-by-night pirate press.
Well, I may have gone off on a tangent, but its something I believe bears saying from time to time. It’s a great bane to the real book industry out there, much like pirate copies of movies hurt Hollywood and bootleg copies of music has kept income from the coffers of musical artists. Anyway, enough of that.
I bought three books and they should be arriving tomorrow. The plan is to study up and then design and develop a good pop up venue I can use all around town in various retail environments.
I’m also looking into paper bags, the ones with the little cord handles, and a means of printing my logo on them. I’m probably going to end up with a stamping machine or an embosser and doing it myself. It’s more affordable than purchasing custom printed bags (unless you’re buying in mass, bulk quantities, of course).
Alright. Enough for now. I have to get up and running. It’s a new day and I have stuff to do.